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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

304                                           TI2CPLE OF HABI-DEYA.
side of £ie bread ani tfeep expanse^ as the line of demarcation between the steep
Sights of steps and the irregislar masses of building which immediately sra>
moGEt them ceased to be perceptible^ the town presented the' perfect semblance
of a long ana lofty mountain rasge dotted with fire-lit villages; while the clash
of cymbals, the heat of drums, the occasional toll of bells from the adjoining
temples, with the sodden and long-sustained cry of some enthusiastic band,
Tociferatirg the praises of mother Ganga, the clapping of hands that began
scarce heard, but was quickly caught up and passed on from tier to tier3 and
prolonged into a wild tumult of applause,,—all Mended with the ceaseless mur-
mur of the siirr:2g crowd in a not discordant medley of exciting sound, Accord-
ing to popular belief, the ill-omened drying up of the water, which had not
occurred before in the memory of man3 was the result of the corse of one
Habib-ullali Shah, a Mnhammadan fakir. He had built Mmself a hut on the
top of the (riri-raj3 to the annoyance of the priests of the neighbouring temple
of Baa-Hie, who complained that the holy ground was defiled by the bones and
other fragments of his unclean diet, and procured an order from the Civil Court
for his ejectment Thereupon the fakir disappearedj leaving a curse upon his
persecutors; and this bore fruit in the drying up of the healing waters of the
M&nasi Ganga.
Close by is the famous temple of Hari-der^ erected during the tolerant
reign of Akhar by Baja Bhagawan Das of Amber on a site long previously
occupied by a succession of humbler fanes. It consists of a nave 68 feet in length
20 feet broad, leading to a choir 20 feet square, with a sacrarinm of about
the same dimensions beyond* The nave has four openings on either side^ of
which three have arched heads,, wMle the fourth nearest the door is covered by
a square architrave supported by Hindu brackets. There are clerestory
windows above, and the height is about 30 feet to the cornice, which is
decorated at intervals with large projecting heads of elephants and sea~
monsters* There was a double roof, each entirely of stone: the outer one
a high pitched gable, the inner an arched ceiling^ or rather the nearest
approach to an arch ever seen in Hindu design. The centre was really flat,
but it was so deeply coved at the sides that, the width of the building being
inconsiderable, it had all the effect of a vanli^ and so doubt suggested the
possibility of the true radiating vault, which -me find in the temple of Govind
Beva built by Bfeagawan's son and successor, Man Sinh, at Brinda-ban. The
construction is extremely massive, and even the exterior is still solemn and
imposing, though the two towers whieh originally crowned the choir and
were long ago lerelled -with the roof of the nay©. The material